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Strategic partnership ideas for problem spotters

By Brenda Thomson

Many business owners are in a prime position to spot the problems that other business owners solve… not so many take the trouble to help their clients find the best solutions to those problems. There’s a WIN WIN WIN for those that do.

A few years ago I was cleaning up my back yard and found some old timber riddled with white ants. It prompted me to have a white ant inspection done of the house.  When the pest inspector emerged from under the house I was relieved to receive the “all clear” verdict and both grateful and concerned to be told that the heating ducts were in need of repair.  Unfortunately, my friendly “problem spotter” stopped there.  I was grateful to him for pointing out the problem but disappointed that he was unable to help direct me to a solution. There was nothing special about him. He was consigned to the pile of just another service provider.

Compare that to the business consultant who has compiled a list of quality service providers he can introduce his clients to when they have a problem in need of a solution. These aren’t just random names from business cards he has collected at networking events, or businesses from his referral organisation.  These are businesses that he has screened and got to know personally so that he can be confident that they are the person best suited to solve the problems that he spots for each individual client.

Businesses who “spot” problems can take one of three actions…

  1. You can ignore the problem or at best let your client know about the problem but offer no solutions (like my pest inspector).
  2. You can expand to try to solve the problem for your clients yourself.  A classic is the graphic designer who expands to do web-design, then SEO, then copy-writing.  A huge problem with this solution is that you risk becoming a jack of all trades and a master of none. The other consequence is that you cut off the opportunity to build strong WIN WIN WIN relationships with other masters…. Which leads to option 3.
  3. You can take the time to develop strong relationships with those business owners who are already great at solving the problems that you spot.
  • Your client WINS because you have helped them find the best solution to their problem.
  • The other business WINS because you have referred them an ideal client… someone that they are ideally suited to help.
  • You WIN because you build your brand reputation as someone who your clients can trust and depend on to help them find the best possible solution to their problem.

What are the problems you can “spot” for your clients? AND who are the people who can best help them solve those problems?

Brenda Thomson

Brenda Thomson

CEO and Founder, Synergy48 Group

Brenda has an honours degree in organizational psychology and a Graduate Certificate in training and development and she is an experienced trainer, facilitator and counsellor. She is a firm believer in mutual collaboration combined with a practical, hands on tools, strategies and systems as the most effective way to achieve real results in business. 

Brenda has over 20 years of experience training in communication, team work, time management, productivity, organisation and strategic planning in large organisations. She is also the developer of the Business Benchmarking Toolkit used by Synergy48 Group members and clients to identify areas for improvement in their business processes.

Brenda is a sought after mentor, speaker and trainer in the areas of strategic partnerships and networking with a difference.  She is passionate about actively giving back to the community. In addition to donating her speaking fees and a proportion of every Synergy48 Group membership to provide microfinance to help women in Malawi to start their own businesses, Brenda has climbed the Himalayas to raise money for Kids Help Line and helped lay a pipeline to supply water to a remote village in Tanzania.


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